The publication “Manual for Planning and Writing Individual Education Plans (IEP)” was published as part of the project activities of the project “Service for Providing Support to Inclusive Education” of the City of Pirot, the Association for Assistance to Mentally Insufficiently Developed Persons Pirot and Citizen’s Association “Vizija” Pirot, under the Local Initiatives Programme for Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction – Support to the Development of Innovative Models for Social Inclusion LIP 2 coordinated by the Social Inclusion and Poverty Reduction Unit of the Government of the Republic of Serbia (SIPRU) with support by the Government of Switzerland.
The aim of the LIP 2 programme is to improve the social inclusion of vulnerable social groups, through improving existing and establishing innovative measures/services/programmes in local communities. This was also the guiding idea for the project team from Pirot: improve education of children and students with developmental impairments and difficulties, a precondition for their successful social inclusion, i.e. integration into the broader social community. Considering the goal of the LIP 2 programme to be their own main goal, the implementers of the “Service for Providing Support to Inclusive Education” project exchanged experiences with colleagues from the fields of education and social welfare, and this Manual is the result of this process.
The main task of the Multidisciplinary Expert Team working under the Service is to monitor and advise students with development impairments, talk to them and their families, as well as the school expert teams, and if needed, with institutions in the local community. Good cooperation and a professional approach by every participant from their own standpoint are key for success in establishing an inclusive school environment, thus the Manual represents a link between all stakeholders in this process and a reminder that they walk together and learn from one another.
Inclusive education is a necessary step in the development of every society, since it is based on the exercise of all fundamental human rights of all its citizens. An individual approach is the main guideline when selecting the form and content of educational support for students with development impairments based on established principles and procedures in the implementation of inclusive education, i.e. the inclusion of students with difficulties in the educational process itself. This principle also relates to the guidelines for recognizing students with development impairments, processes for the assessment of their educational needs, and the planning, implementation and valuation by all members of the Expert Team for Inclusive Education, respecting the professional autonomy of each of them.
The manual covers all areas relevant for the process of planning and writing individual education plans (IEPs): the right to an IEN; types of IEPs; pedagogical profile of a student; plan of individualization measures; implementation and monitoring of the IEP; valuation and changes to the IEP; transition plan for the student and plan for the prevention of early drop-out; adaptations for students with various development impairments; and also offers examples of individual education plans.
The Manual for Planning and Writing Individual Education Plans is intended for preschool and primary school teachers and non-teaching expert staff. The proposed model of monitoring students may serve as a guideline for monitoring the development of a child and its needs. The importance of an active and stimulating environment for its development is confirmed by a large number of studies showing that every child can develop competences if it is included in a stimulating physical and social environment.